“Truly, it is a fire that I have come to bring upon the earth. How I long to see it ablaze! Did you imagine that I had come to bring peace and tranquility? No, I tell you, I have come to spread division! From now on, there will be five in one house, divided as to what they should believe, three against two, and two against three.” –Jesus
“For Richard was now but too well convinced that he had no power of persuasion equal to the task of making Dorothy see things as he saw them. The dividing influence of imperfect opposing goods is potent as that of warring good and evil, with this important difference, that the former is but for a season, and will one day bind as strongly as it parted, while the latter is essential, absolute, impassible, eternal.” –MacDonald, from St. George and St. Michael
Sadly, mine is a divided house. One son coaches wrestling for Central Michigan University; two sons wrestle for Michigan State University. Normally it’s not much of an issue … until the two teams compete against each other. Normally CMU wins and the trash talking ensues. Normally, love of wrestling heals all wounds.
Sadly, the USA is a divided house. But it is not divided over a favorite sports team. It is divided over what we should believe. Many of us believe, rightly in my opinion, that it is a “warring between good and evil,” rather than opinion over “imperfect opposing goods.” Whether it is economic issues such as private property vs redistribution, or social issues such as “pro-choice” vs “pro-life”; it is imperative to the health of the nation that we are able to see the debate for what it really is and know if we still have the capacity to distinguish good from evil.
The point here is not to rehash why one view is better than the other, but that there must be a point when the fires blaze! Jesus was not advocating anarchy, but purity of conviction which leads to the rule of righteousness. We have long debated whether Abraham Lincoln was a hero or tyrant. What we cannot debate is that the eradication of slavery was a costly victory that only came as the fire of passions blazed! The only question that remains is: are we a better nation because we paid the price?
Is the world a better place because the people of the United States of America were willing to pay that price and make a statement against an evil practice that was old as human society? Do we have the courage of our convictions even today? Will the evil of tyranny & despotism finally be eradicated in the world by the fire of conviction and the will to righteousness beginning here in the land of the free? Are we still the home of the brave … or, as Mark Twain observed, a place where ‘the average man’s a coward…’
May the guiding hand of Divine Providence help us answer that question even as Jesus proclaimed to every generation of mankind: ‘how I long to see it ablaze!’ May the love of good and hatred of evil inspire us to be men of courage to this generation!
The world will be a better place for it.
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